7 Sustainable Kitchen Cleaning Tips for a Greener Home

Bottle dispenser, hand towel and dish brush on white kitchen counter

As people learn more about the environmental impact of traditional cleaning products, there has been a growing demand for natural cleaning products and an increased interest in sustainable cleaning practices. Here are our best sustainable kitchen cleaning tips, perfect for the seasoned eco-conscious individual, for people just starting their journeys towards a greener lifestyle, and everyone in between. 

1. Raid Your Pantry

It is highly likely that you already have some powerful, non-toxic cleaning products in your pantry. 

  • Baking soda has many applications. It can be used to clean stovetops, microwaves, pots and pans, and tough stains. A paste made from baking soda and water can cut through grease, while a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can help lift tough stains and cooked-on food.
  • Cream of tartar can be used to clean stainless steel. Sprinkle the powder on a wet sponge and gently scrub away any grime. 
  • Coffee grounds can provide abrasion to help scrub away tough stains.
  • Olive oil can be used to polish wood.
  • Lemon juice disinfects and helps cut through grease.

2. Embrace The Power Of Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar, sometimes known as cleaning vinegar, is about five percent acetic acid, which helps it break down the structure of some dirt, oils, films, stains, and bacteria.

This acid is not powerful enough to damage most of your kitchen’s surfaces– although you should not use it on marble and stone countertops, as it will dull the finish. Avoid using vinegar, lemon or acidic substances as they damage the stone. Instead, use a mixture of baking soda and peroxide to clean marble and stone countertops.

For an easy, non-toxic home cleaning solution, combine white vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio a reusable spray bottle. You can use this environmentally friendly cleaner as an all-purpose cleaning solution for many surfaces, such as glass (including windows and mirrors), walls, cupboards, floors, sinks, stovetops, and coffee makers. Vinegar dries with a streak free finish, making it an excellent choice to replace many traditional household cleaners. 

All-Purpose Spray Bottle Dispensers on Kitchen Counter

3. Switch To Long Lasting Sponges

As plastic sponges are not always recyclable, choosing sponges that will last longer and are less abrasive on your dishes and silverware, is the best choice. Natural sponges such as sea sponges and coco coir sponges, will work beautifully to clean your dishes and countertops. Dish and pot brushes made of natural wood and bristles will double as beautiful decor pieces and tough scrubbers. Don't forget to store your sponges and brushes properly to keep them looking and functioning their best. 

Soap bottle dispensers, sponge and sponge holder

4. Use A Simple Reaction to Clean Your Sink

Baking soda and vinegar is the perfect way to clean a stainless steel sink. All you have to do is sprinkle baking powder over the entire surface and rub it in with a sponge. Make sure the baking soda covers the entire bottom of your spink. Then, splash in some white vinegar. 

The vinegar will react with the baking soda, bubbling away any grease and grime. You can then rinse your sink with water, satisfied that it is clean without having dumped anything environmentally unfriendly down the drain.

Soap bottle dispenser and dish brush on kitchen sink

5. Use Reusable Dispensers

Hand and dish soap are a vital kitchen need, but the disposable plastic bottles they come in generate waste. Instead of disposable dispensers, you can switch to reusable glass or reusable plastic soap pumps. These will allow you to buy your hand soap in bulk, which will save money as well. 

If you prefer foaming hand soap to liquid hand soap, you can even get refillable soap foamers. Refillable cleaning products and hand soaps can make a big difference in how much waste is created by your kitchen cleaning needs, so it’s better for the environment to choose these when you can.

Spray bottle dispenser and dish brush on tray

6. Make A Lemon Fresh Citrus Cleaner

The bright smell of lemons is something that registers as “clean” to many people. If you want to make your own citrus cleaner without the harsh chemicals and artificial scents that mass-market citrus cleaners contain, all you will need is an empty reusable spray bottle, several lemon peels, white vinegar, and water.

To make this easy cleaner, fill your spray bottle halfway with the lemon peels. Pour in equal amounts of white vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for two weeks. Empty into a bowl, strain out the lemon peels, and pour the liquid back into the spray bottle. This cleaner has the same antimicrobial properties as the white vinegar cleanser described above, but has a beautiful lemon fragrance.

Modern sustainable kitchen counter

7. Reuse and Repurpose

Much of the time, plastic packaging is completely unavoidable. But much of this plastic is reusable or repurposable. For example, you can use plastic food containers to store leftovers, repurpose milk jugs for other liquid storage, and use ice cream buckets for organization. 

At The Polished Jar, we want to help you live an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. All of our high quality home goods are built to last, so that you won’t have to replace them after a single use. Shop our catalog for beautiful, long-lasting products that will look perfect in your home.

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